I began doing genealogy shortly after the very first of a new
TV genre, the “mini-series”, first aired back in 1977. It was
Alex Haley’s ROOTS, and even at the young age of 15, I almost
immediately began asking my parents to see what we knew
about our own family tree. I was intrigued by just how much
information that Mr. Haley had been able to gather about his
own ancestors, and was able to even trace them beyond the
boundaries of the United States.
Visiting the local public library in Bakersfield, CA, I found
several good books on how to do genealogical research and
after gathering all the information that I was able to find
through living relatives (which for me wasn’t much), I started
on my journey. The initial years of research were fraught with
lots of learning and the pace of the research was painfully
slow. It wasn’t until I finished college before I fine tuned my
I graduated from the Monterey Institute of International
Studies in May of 1985 with a BA in Hispanic Studies. One
thing that I had also been interested in during my childhood
were accents and languages. My family moved to Australia
where I attended pre-school and kindergarten in Melbourne,
returning to the US in 1969 where I attended school here in
Bakersfield. I started with Spanish in 7th grade and have also
studied German, French, Russian, Latin, and am comfortable
with records in Danish, Dutch, Swedish and Polish.
I started doing research for others back in 1989 when while
doing research on my own family, I was asked to take on a
project for an individual who I initially was just offering my
suggestions for his research. He said that while he wanted to
find out more about his ancestry, he would rather hire
someone to do the actual research. That is how it all started!
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